The Crow's Nest -- December 21, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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Crows Nest



Dick Cole eventDick Cole discussion event receives national media coverage

Numerous stories related to Park University’s “Before 9/11, There Was 12/7: Reflections of Doolittle Raider Dick Cole on World War II” event on Dec. 7 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., appeared in a variety of publications and television stations, including national media coverage as TIME magazine published an article the day after the event. Additional coverage included the following:
          •  KSHB-TV (Kansas City): Seven-minute live interview the morning of the event with Cole and Dennis Okerstrom, Ph.D., professor of English, who wrote a book on Cole and was the host of the event.
          •  KSHB also did a preview story on its evening newscast on Dec. 7, interviewing both Cole and Okerstrom
          •  KMBC-TV (Kansas City): Story about the event on the 10pm newscast
          •  National Archives blog article the day of the event
          •  Midwest Rewind blog article on Dec. 14
          •  Kansas City Star article on Nov. 30 previewed the event and included comments from Okerstrom
          •  KNPN-TV (St. Joseph, Mo.) coverage of the “abbreviated program” event on the University’s Parkville Campus on Dec. 6
          •  St. Joseph News-Press coverage of the “abbreviated program”
          •  KMBZ-FM (Kansas City) also did a story on the “abbreviated program”

In a related media opportunity, Okerstrom was also interviewed for a separate story that aired on KSHB-TV on Dec. 14 and Dec. 15. The story was related to the B-25 History Project and its Kansas City connection. The story was also picked up by television stations in Kansas, Maine, Wisconsin and Texas.

VolleyballWomen’s volleyball team falls short of national title hopes in semifinals

Park University’s women’s volleyball team closed out its 2016 season at the NAIA Volleyball National Championship tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, on Dec. 3. The Pirates advanced to the national semifinals, but were defeated by eventual national champion Hastings (Neb.) College in four sets. Park’s Wendy Romero was named to the all-tournament team and Daniela Duarte was named the tournament’s outstanding libero. In addition to their NAIA all-tournament awards, both Romero and Duarte were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-Midwest region team — Romero as a first team selection and Midwest Region Player of the Year, and Duarte as an honorable mention selection. Also, head coach Mike Talamantes was tabbed as the AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year.

Wendy RomeroRomero garners NAIA Volleyball Player of the Year honors

Park University senior women’s volleyball player Wendy Romero has been selected as the NAIA Volleyball Player of the Year and a first team All-American. In her final year as a Pirate, Romero set three Park single-season records, including 685 kills and nearly 1,600 attempts. This is the second time Romero has been tabbed as a first team All-American player, also earning the honor in 2014. Read more about Romero’s season accomplishments at Romero was also selected as the TeamSnap/AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year.

In addition, Park soccer players Emily Key and Tim Kloster were named as honorable mention selections to the NAIA women’s and men’s All-America soccer teams, respectively.
          •  Key --
          •  Kloster --

The NAIA also announced its Daktronics-NAIA scholar-athlete teams.
          •  Women’s soccer --
          •  Men’s soccer --
          •  Women’s volleyball --

PCEDC AwardUniversity honored by Platte County Economic Development Council

Park University was one of 13 Platte County, Mo., based companies/organizations to be recognized with a 2016 Business Excellence Award from the Platte County Economic Development Council on Dec. 9, in Kansas City, Mo. The companies/organizations honored contribute $113 million in public and private investment, filled nearly 400,000 square-feet of space and employ approximately 5,000 people. Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., accepted the award on behalf of the University from Patricia Jensen, PCEDC chair, and Ron Scheiber, Platte County presiding commissioner. View a brief video (produced by a student at Park Hill High School) and story about Park’s award at

KCA CommencementPark campus centers hold commencement ceremonies

Park University campus centers across the country have held commencement ceremonies for 2016 graduates. As these ceremonies are held, we’ll include the link to the news releases announcing the list of graduates at each campus in The Crow’s Nest, as well as links to photos (if available).

          • Kansas City Area Commencement / Photos

SymposiumRegistration open for 2017 Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium

Park University’s 12th annual Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium is set for Tuesday, April 4, through Thursday, April 6, 2017, on the University’s Parkville Campus. The Symposium is an opportunity for Park students nationwide from all disciplines to present their independent and/or collaborative research and creative and artistic projects to the University and wider community. Students from all campus centers, as well as online students, are eligible to participate. The Symposium will provide venues for poster presentations, oral presentations, artistic and visual displays, research presentations, and musical, dramatic and literature performances.

Students may submit their proposals now through Friday, Feb. 17, with the approval of a faculty mentor, at When registering, students should be prepared to provide the name and contact information of the primary and co-presenters, the faculty mentor, as well as the title and abstract of the presentation. For additional information, visit or contact Jamie Pasley, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and professor of political science, at / (816) 584-6593.

Pirate Fitness winter break hours

Pirate Fitness on the Parkville Campus has announced its hours for the winter break. Through Sunday, Jan. 15, Pirate Fitness will be open for general use Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed Saturdays and Sundays. It will also be closed Friday, Dec. 23, Monday, Dec. 26, and Monday, Jan. 2. Pirate Fitness will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 16. Pirate Fitness will continue to host weekly fitness classes over the break at noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (when open) for Boot Camp. These classes are for all fitness levels and are free with your Park University ID.

Park online degree programs ranked

Park University’s online programs in computer science and information systems have been ranked No. 41 on’s “Top 50 Best Value Online Undergraduate Computer Science Programs for 2017” list. Programs were ranked based on three metrics: return on investment, salary data reputation and cost.

Park’s online master’s degrees in education have been ranked No. 24 by on the website’s list of “Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Education.” Criteria include loan default rates, graduation rates and financial aid data.

Faculty, staff, student news

Alex CruzChief Warrant Officer Alex Cruz, a senior management/computer information systems major, had the honor of participating in the commemoration ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7. Cruz led the flag raising detail of 22 Marines aboard the USS Arizona Memorial. According to Cruz, the detail rendered honors to many distinguished visitors, including survivors of the attack, a Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima, other World War II veterans and senior government officials. In all, the detail raised and lowered more than 1,000 American flags.

Two students in Park University’s International Center for Music won prizes for their performances as part of the St. Louis alumnae chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota’s scholarship competition in November. Cellist Dilshod Narvillaev, freshman applied music/strings, won the $750 Mary Mottl Memorial Scholarship, and violinist Hanna Zhdan, junior applied music/strings major, won the $750 Helen S. Lane Memorial Scholarship.

Alisha BlackwelderAlisha Blackwelder, manager of special events, was recently elected as the president of the Main Street Parkville (Mo.) Association for 2017.

Stacey KikendallVirginia BrackettA collection of essays about Mary Shelley’s works edited by Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., professor emeritus of English, was recently published. The book, Critical Insights: Mary Shelley, included a timeline, bibliography and introductory essay about influences on Shelley’s writing, authored by Brackett. In addition, Stacey Kikendall, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, contributed an essay, “‘I ate no apple’: An Analysis of Gender, Power and Blame in Mary Shelley’s Early Fiction.” Kikendall’s essay argues that in Frankenstein and additional works, Shelley struggles with community presets about gender and blame, revealing her ambivalence about women’s roles in 19th century England.

Eric ClickAn article authored by Eric Click Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of public administration, was published in the fall/winter 2016-17 issue of the Missouri Policy Journal. The article, “The St. Louis Rams: The Greatest Public Financing Show on Earth,” explores how and why the National Football League team arrived in St. Louis (in 1995) and departed St. Louis (in 2016), and examines the unique inter-related history of St. Louis and the NFL, including both economics and public financing.

Mark NoeLora CohnLora Cohn, Ph.D., associate professor of communication arts, and Mark Noe, Ph.D., professor of communication arts and program director of the Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership program, co-presented a panel discussion at the National Communication Association’s annual conference, Nov. 10 in Philadelphia. They presented at “The Intersection of Theory, Online Teaching and Student Learning” session. Cohn presented methods of assessing online learners and Noe explained protocol constraints set to deliberately improve communication, collective thinking and understanding. Cohn also chaired a panel discussion on “Perspectives on Media History, Policy Making and the Public Sphere.” She has been appointed vice chair and program planner for the undergraduate programs interest group for next year’s conference.

Judi Simmons EstesJudi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Education and associate professor of education, authored a chapter on “Teacher Preparation Programs and Learner-Centered, Technology-Integrated Instruction,” for the recently published Handbook of Research on Learner-Centered Pedagogy in Teacher Education and Professional Development. The chapter examines four components of effective technology-integrated, learner-centered instruction, as well as the influential role of faculty providing a model and experiences for teacher candidates.

Brad KleindlBrad Kleindl, Ph.D., dean of the College of Management, presented a session at the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs International Conference and Accreditation Forum, Nov. 2-5 in Cancún, Mexico. His presentation on “Developing Non-Traditional Measures of Persistence and Graduation for Unique Student Populations” outlined how a university’s database can be restructured to allow for the development of a student persistence number and, for graduation analysis, degree-to enrollment ratios. Kleindl also presented on ACBSP’s accreditation “Criteria 5.”

Adam Langdon, adjunct instructor of education, was selected as a recipient of a Park Hill (Mo.) School District Star Award for the month of December. Langdon is a mathematics teacher at Congress Middle School. The honor recognizes district teachers and staff who demonstrate values of continuous improvement, high expectations, integrity, visionary leadership and student focus.

Park In The News

Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism, began a new quarterly radio program on Dec. 1 that airs on KKFI (90.1 FM) in Kansas City. The inaugural “Peace Journalism Perspectives” show features audio from a recent discussion at a conference about rhetoric in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and a report on a peace journalism project in South Sudan.

Park University’s Master of Business Administration program was ranked as the No. 1 MBA program in the Kansas City region by the Kansas City Business Journal in the publication’s Dec. 2 issue. The ranking was based on Fall 2016 enrollment.

A story about Liz Jarski, ’12, and the organization she serves as a youth qualified mental health professional appeared in the Liberty (Mo.) Tribune and Kearney (Mo.) Courier on Dec. 10.

Danielle Eschenburg, ’07, MBA ’15, was featured in the Sealy (Texas) News on Dec. 15 as she was honored by the Sealy High School Student Council as its December Teacher of the Month.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
          •  Through January 27 -- Fine Arts Seniors Thesis Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  December 23-26 -- Christmas Holiday (University offices closed nationwide)
          •  January 2 -- New Year’s Day Holiday (observed; University offices closed nationwide)
          •  January 16 -- Spring Semester / Spring I Term Begins
          •  January 16 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)
          •  January 24 -- “First Amendment Under Fire: Global Challenges to Press Freedom” with Steve Youngblood, 6:30 p.m., National Archives at Kansas City
          •  January 28 -- International Center for Music Young Artist Showcase, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  February 3-March 10 -- William Eickhorst Two-Dimensional Works Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  February 11 -- International Center for Music International Guest Artist Series: Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi and Pianist Meng-Chen Liu, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.

Note: To view a comprehensive schedule for all events, including athletics and student life, visit